Sunday, December 30, 2007

Retirment Planning Magic - Being Over the Hill in Your Retirement Years Means Picking Up Speed

"Never think oldish thoughts," stated James A. Farley. "It's oldish thoughts that make a person old." Indeed, thinking young can help you to stay busily and happily involved in your so-called retirement years. Being productive well into your later years will enhance your self-esteem plus give you intellectual stimulation and social interaction. It is also a way to enrich the lives of others while enriching your own life at the same time.

Here are examples of several elderly people who kept active in their "retirement" years.

  • Albert Ellis developed what is now called rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) in the mid-1950s. In 2001, at the age of 87, Ellis was still lecturing, writing, and seeing 70 or more clients per week, applying REBT to help them get over behavioral and emotional problems by replacing irrational thoughts with rational ones.
  • At 94 Bertrand Russell was actively promoting international world peace.
  • At 90 Picasso was known for his artistic production, still creating stunning drawings and engravings.
  • Luella Tyra was 92 in 1984, when she competed in five categories at the United States Swimming Nationals in Mission Viejo, California.
  • Lloyd Lambert, at 87, was an active skier and operating a seventy-plus Ski Club which had 3,286 members including a ninety-seven-year-old.
    Maggie Kuhn in her 80s was still active in promoting the goals of the Grey Panthers, a seniors group which she helped found when she was 65.
  • At 93, George Bernard Shaw wrote Farfetched Fables.
  • Buckminster Fuller in his 80s was actively promoting his vision for a new world.
  • Writer, actor, director, and producer, George Abbott had his first hit (simply called Broadway) on Broadway when he was 39. At 75, he produced A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. When he turned 100, Abbott brought Broadway back to Broadway.
These people appear to be somewhat remarkable, and in a way they are. Nevertheless, they are not unusual. Hundreds of thousands of people in their seventies, eighties, and nineties have an incredible zest for life and show great vigor, enthusiasm, and physical ability in living in their retirement years. To these individuals, being over the hill in their retirement years means picking up speed.


This article is adapted from the retirement books How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free and The Joy of Not Working by Ernie J. Zelinski.

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